The Steps Involved In Resurfacing A Tarmac Road

We all know how frustrating it can be when a road is closed for tarmac resurfacing and we are sent on a long detour to get to where we want to be. Understanding the processes behind the resurfacing of this road will help you to realise exactly why the road is closed for that long period of time. 

Clearing the road 

Not only does the road being resurfaced need to be cleared of people and their vehicles, but it is also an essential step to ensure that all other debris, such as gravel, is also cleared from the road. If this step is over-looked then it could be detrimental to the whole process and would result in the road needing to be resurfaced again much sooner. If debris is left on the surface, then the tarmac material will also have difficulty adhering in place. 


Now that the surface is completely clear, the next imperative step to resurfacing a tarmac road is to prepare the surface for appropriate water drainage. The area will be graded to ensure that the required slope is created, and any rainwater is able to run-off the road appropriately. Correct water drainage is vital to the new tarmac road and without this step, major damage including potholes, cracks and heaving may occur. This process is also critical when negotiating land gradients. 


At this point, the road surface is now ready for something called the sub-base to be laid. This is a layer that will sit underneath the new tarmac road, it is the main load-bearing layer. The sub-base is designed to evenly spread the load of the tarmac and also any traffic that will travel over it. 

The quality of the sub-base should not be overlooked, as it is very important for the life span of the road and can even outlive the life of the tarmac surface itself. Lots of different materials are used to create a sub-base layer and its thickness will vary according to the volume and weight of traffic that the surface layer will experience. This thickness ranges from 75mm for a simple path to 225mm or more on heavily used roads.

Laying the new tarmac 

Once all of the preparation has been completed it is time to lay the tarmac. In terms of roads and motorways, a machine is used to deposit and then evenly spread the tarmac across the sub-base. This modern method avoids the majority of the manual labour associated with this process, speeding up this part of the job. It is when the tarmac is laid that any “butt joints”, areas which transition from the new tarmac to existing surfaces, will be created in order to ensure that all surfaces are even. The tarmac contractors will find a way to smooth the transition from the old surface to the new, ensuring drivers can’t notice a difference in the two surfaces. 

The final roll 

The last step of the process before a road can be reopened to the public is smoothing and compacting the tarmac. This is usually completed using a roller truck which will ensure that no small bumps of aggregate or stone are left poking through the smooth new surface. This final step is just as important as the first and will help prevent accidents on the new road and damage to cars. 


Overall, all of these steps ensure years of durability and functionally for this newly resurfaced road. All drivers will benefit from this new surface and it is worth the wait and the road closure. 

This job is one that should only be undertaken by a commercial surfacing contractor who has experience working with this particular road surfacing material and is able to ensure the work is completed to an industry-leading standard. We at Bestco Surfacing promise just that.

If you would like to find out more about our work, then please do not hesitate to contact our team today on 01992 652 477 or email